Sunday, 31 October 2021

Pucky Monster Babies Unboxing

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!! It's my favourite holiday of the year, the day when everybody gets their spook on! As someone who's always leaned more to the alternative side, I am a big fan of all things macabre and scary. Horror is my favourite genre and my bedroom is decorated with skulls and witchy things and other ghoulish icons all year round. I love that for the month of October, everyone joins in with celebrating all things spooky, and I can spam all of my social media with halloweeny stuff :) Not that I can't do that anyway, but you know what I mean, haha! One of the best things about Halloween Time, in my opinion, is the mash up (*instantly starts singing The Monster Mash*) of cute and spooky, aptly coined spoopy by the internet... I just adore seeing chibified versions of 'terrifying' characters, and also kawaii ones in fancy dress. What's not to love about Kirby as a pumpkin or a tiny Freddy Krueger surrounded by candy!? Today's post is going to be shouting out to the spoopy, as well as one of my most loved things ever: toys/collectable figures! I hope you all enjoy reading and have a wonderful Halloween night!! 

A box showing two blind boxes by the company PopMart, titled Pucky Monster Babies and featuring a character dressed as a pumpkin black cat

If you follow me over on instagram, you will most probably be aware of my latest obsession when it comes to blind box figures. I have known Pucky Babies existed for a while, but I didn't know you could get them fairly easily here in the UK until a few months ago. Pucky Babies are a series of super adorable characters brought to us by the company, Pop Mart. There's so many varieties of the Pucky Babies blind boxes available, and I was lucky enough to stumble upon some that are perfect for the spooky season just in time for Halloween :) I was going to blog about them earlier in the month, but I've not found the time between trying to watch as many horror movies as possible and also preparing for NaNoWriMo, which starts tomorrow! Ahhh! Anyhow, here I am now showing off the lovely figures I got inside my Pucky Monster Babies boxes!

Before I reveal the figures, I just wanted to mention that this version of the Pucky Babies figures has 12 different ones to collect, and two hidden/mystery figures. I love when blind boxes have mystery chase variants, despite the fact that it's super irritating when you are trying to complete an entire set and can't seem to find any of them! My favourite of the ones available are the Pumpkin Black Cat (the one you can see on the box), Wolfman Poko, and the Forest Sorcerer; however, they are all so pretty and detailed that I have a mighty urge to try and collect every one of them now :D So, who did I get?? 

A photo of a figure by PopMart of a baby dressed in a pumpkin black cat costume for halloween

YAY!! It must be my lucky day! Halloween must love me as much as I love it, haha! I got the Pumpkin Black Cat figure in the first box I opened!! And isn't it a little stunner? What a eye-catching figure! I am obsessed with how vibrant it is, and there is so much to look at with all that detail. It has such a creative design! My most favourite feature of all has to be the tiny cat ears and whiskers, but of course, I can't not highlight that kitty scarf! I love polka dots, too and black and purple is such a lovely colour combination :) I really like how even though there's only two little buttons on the Pucky Babies tummy, they've made each have different coloured button holes or whatever those holes in the centre are called. 

A photo of three figure baby in blanket figures. One is green, another is pink and a third is purple, and sitting inside a pumpkin bucket for halloween

It was such a marvellous surprise to discover these miniature babies inside the box along with the main figure (even if I have no idea where I'm going to store them so I don't lose them!). It's impressive that you get three of them, so you can choose whichever one you like best to sit inside the pumpkin bucket/basket. I opted for the green one, since that's my favourite colour. It's a lovely touch that they are pastel when the rest of the figure has such bold colouration. Which tiny pastel baby would you chose? 

A photo showing a figure of a baby dressed in a black cat pumpkin costume for Halloween

I adore how photogenic Pucky Babies are and I cannot wait to share them on my dedicated toy photography instagram. You'll be seeing these little guys even after the night is through, because I'm not ready to let go of Halloween just yet :D The quality of these figures is so another thing that has me so impressed. The paintjob/finish of the vinyl is so smooth, and the figures themselves are heavy and sturdy, especially for figures that are inexpensive to buy! AWWW, just look at that tiny mouth, and little triangle nose. It reminds me of Snufkin from The Moomins for some reason, so it makes me smile whenever I look at the nose! I really like that the scarf cat has a triangular nose as well! Let's check out the other spoopy cutie I unboxed... 

A photo showing a figure of a baby dressed as a vampire for halloween.

I am obsessed with the design of the cloak/dress that this little vampire is wearing!! The pattern is gorgeous and I would totally wear a dress like that! This adorable character wasn't a favourite of mine, but he's still fantastic and I couldn't be happier about adding him to my collection :) It took me until I did my photography for this post to realise this the figure has a huge white collar and that those are tiny pointed ears sticking out of the hood. I honestly thought at first glace that he was raising his arms in the air (that his ears were actually hands), almost like he was saying 'OoOooo' :D And I thought it looked more like he was excited! But oh my god, it's a collar, which makes me love the design even more!! (Can you tell I'm tired today?) and those little pointed ears make me think of elves, which I adore just as much as the more spooky mythical creatures. Are you team vampires or team elves?

a photo of a cute vampire figure showing a black cloak covered with pastel ghosts, hearts and bats

How fabulous is this cloak/dress though!? We are used to seeing vampires in their traditional black and red outfits, so I think it's fangtastic (I'm not even sorry...) that the designers at PopMart decided to incorporate some pastel colours into the look of their vampire, but still stuck to tradition by giving him the sweetest little red bowtie, and red eyes, which make his face stand out so much. I do have to admit that I think the thick blue trimming along the bottom of his cloak is a little random, but I don't hate it. The way it flares out along with the colour gives me octopus vibes. Don't you think? Furthermore, the flare makes me feel like he's in mid-twirl whilst dancing, and now I've decided that all the figures must be attending a Halloween fancy dress party or ball. 

A figure of a baby wearing a vampire halloween costume

I know that his hood is supposed to be a vampire bat, but I think it looks more like a monster/alien, which is so precious! It reminds me of a homemade costume that doesn't quite look like what it's supposed to :D Have you ever had a homemade costume like that? The bat wings are so sweet, too! Another marvellous figure and after writing all about it, I am now 100% sure that I need more in my life! How else are we going to have a 'best dressed' competition at the Pucky Babies costume party??

A photo of two figures, one is wearing a pumpkin black hat costume and the other a vampire

These guys just look so cute together!! I love that I got two figures that are so different from one another, and I am delighted with just how intricate the designs are! PopMart figures are amazing and I can already hear my bank account screaming... but tell me, which is your favourite of the two? 

I bought these figures from a website called Scout & Co, and I just wanted to thank them for packaging the blind boxes so well! Not only were they packed securely and arrived in perfect condition (which is not something that always happens with blind boxes!), but they also made the presentation so autumnal. Autumn is my favourite season so I was over the moon to open the box and be greeted the way I was. 

A photo of box filled with brown shredded paper packaging, an autumnal fungi themed card and yellow tissue paper

So pretty, don't you think? Scout & Co have three varieties of the Pucky Babies blind boxes for sale, and they are all £11.99 per box, which is a great price :) If you want to treat yourself to some Monster Babies of your own, definitely check out their site. They have the Milk Babies, too, and the box for those is shaped like a milk cartoon!! I love that!

I hope that you enjoyed checking out these super sweet figures today :) It's been a while since I blogged about blind boxes, and I used to blog about them all the time! Those of you who have been reading my blog since I started it in 2015 will remember my tokidoki blind box posts. Does anyone miss those? Let me know if you'd like to see more posts like this again, because I am still an avid collector and have a lot that I could share with you all. That reminds me, I wanted to let those of you who love this sort of thing know that I've set up a tiktok dedicated to unboxing toys :) If that's something you want to watch, I'd really appreciate a follow. Again, Happy Halloween (or Blessed Samhain, to my fellow witchy folks)! Enjoy your candy and scary movies!! 

Thankyou for reading!

Had you ever heard of Pucky Babies before reading my post?

Do any of you guys collect PopMart figures? 

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Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Self-Care Sundae Bath Soak by The Bath Bae | Review

Hi guys! I hope you've all been having the loveliest start to September  Is there anything you are excited for this month or that you've got planned? I'd love to hear all about it :) Usually, as soon as September rolls around, I instantly feel the full force of the autumnal bug hit me and I'm ready to get my spook on! However, it seems that summer wants to last forever this year (queue the Summer of '69 singing, haha), and the heatwave appears to be back again. Plus, I'm currently raising a butterfly, who's still in chrysalis form right now (just livin' that nature nerd life!), so summertime doesn't feel over for me quite yet. The fuchsias are going strong in the garden, my sunflower is growing, and I am still in the mood for reading in the sunshine, overloading on ice lollies and using all the summery candles & bath products... which brings us onto the topic of today's post.   

I recently did a little haul from a wonderful small/independent business called The Bath Bae, to pick up some birthday gifts for my loved ones and couldn't resist throwing a couple of goodies into my shopping cart for myself. One of them in particular really spoke to me because the colour scheme is pastel and just gave me kawaii vibes. Well, I finally used it last week and wanted to share all about it with my fellow pastel aesthetic lovers! Even though summer is still very much in the air, it won't be long until Christmas Time is upon us (seriously though, 2021 has flown by, don't you think?), so why not start stocking up on presents now? Not only do The Bath Bae's products smell fabulous, but the presentation is perfect, too. They make such lovely-looking gifts! Anyhow, it feels like I'm starting to go off on a tangent, so let's get into the reviewing. Enjoy! 

a photo showing a bag of pastel coloured bath soak powder in pink, mint and lilac shades. There is a mint coloured candle and a few seashells surrounding the product, which is from The Bath Bae shop

How gorgeous does this product look though!? The colours are so pretty, especially with how they are arranged in the package. So pleasing to the eye that I very nearly couldn't bring myself to actually pour it into my bath!! As the title tells, this product is called the Self-Care Sundae Bath Soak, which is essentially akin to a dissembled bathbomb. I really love how much easier it is to use, vs having to crumble up a standard spherical-shaped bathbomb yourself, in order to be able to use the product in more than one bath. Each bag of 'bath soak' available on The Bath Bae website contains 200g of powder and on the label, it suggests that you can sprinkle the entirety of the product into your bath or use half a bag each time. However, I bought my sister another of The Bath Bae's bath soaks as a gift last year and she said she used a lot less in her bath and that basically, a little goes a long way! She was impressed with just how strong and vibrant the colour was. I certainly have the same opinion after using mine, despite opting for a product made up of softer shades. I got overexcited and decided to pour the whole bag into my bath though! 

Before I show you guys some photos I snapped on my phone of the product in-use, I wanted to talk more about it. The Self-Care Sundae Bath Soak, which, by the way, is such a great name for a product in my opinion, is described as such; soak away in swirls of a sweet ice cream treat! Our very first Super-Summery pastel bath goodies! Scented in Screwball Swirl- The perfect throwback to your childhood summer days! A sweet, light and creamy blend of raspberry ripple ice cream and blue raspberry drizzle with a sweet bubblegum surprise. How lush does that sound!? Can I eat it? :D 

It really did smell delicious, guys! The product gave off a lovely fruity fragrance from the moment I opened the pouch, which at first reminded me of rhubarb and custard hard-boiled sweets. Maybe because of the vanilla ice-cream? Then, as it mixed throughout the warm water, my bathroom was filled with the scent of bubblegum, in a way that wasn't overpowering at all. I am usually not a huge fan of bubblegum-scented things, but the Self-Care Sundae had such a subtle note (if that even makes sense?), that I enjoyed it :) Now you all have an idea of what this bath soak smelled like, here's what it looked like...

a picture showing four photos of the swirls of pastel colours created once a bath soak powder was sprinkled into warm water. There are mints, lilacs and pinks, mixed with foamy white and pale purple water underneath.

As you can see, the Self-Care Sundae soak created a bath fit for a fairytale/unicorn/pastel princess (or prince, of course!) :D I absolutely loved watching all of the pretty shades of pink, mint and lilac spreading and bubbling around the water amidst the white foam that definitely made think of ice-cream. Mint is one of my favourite colours and I think it goes so well with pink and lilac, so it was super eye-catching for me. The water itself, underneath all of the colourful 'froth' remained a lovely lilac shade throughout my entire bath, even after I had washed my hair. Being pastel, it obviously isn't as vivid in colour as a different product would be, however that is the point of the Self-Care Sundae, and it made the pastel bath of dreams, so I can't recommend it enough. Which is your favourite colour out of the three: mint, pink or lilac? Let me know in the comments :) 

Whenever I try new bath products, I am always a little worried that they are going to be scented too strongly, and that they may be too much for me and the sensory issues that some of my disabilities cause, but I found this bath soak to have a nice balance. Thankfully, the scent was strong but not TOO strong, so I didn't get a headache or anything. I cannot wait to give some of their other products a go!

A photo showing a silver iridescent packaging with light reflected in the surface, showing rainbow colours

I couldn't not mention again just how nice the presentation of The Bath Bae's products are! The bath soaks, as well as the 'bath sparkle', 'bath cubes' & 'bath rocks', are all packaged in plastic pouches with a clear front, a window for the product to be seen, and a shiny silver back. I managed to capture just how stunning the iridescence on the back of the pouch is when the sunlight catches it. If the product itself didn't look magical enough on its own, the packaging definitely did! We can all do with a little rainbow magic in our lives, another reason why these products make awesome presents! 

All of the products available from The Bath Bae are also vegan/cruelty free, and contain ingredients that are good for your skin, as well as including 'antimicrobial benefits'. What's not to love? Furthermore, I almost forgot to talk about how the pouch has a zip-lock style opening, something that I really liked as its easy to store and keep your product for longer. One thing that I do wish the packaging included though is a description of the fragrance notes in the product, even if it was just a brief sentence. Most people readily have access to the internet nowadays and can easily look up the name of the product so they can read the description on The Bath Bae's website. But sometimes the loved ones who we might like to gift some of the products to may not be able to read this description for whatever reason, and might like a little information about the scents. Of course, we can tell them or include it in a personal note but I think it would be cool if the package included something.

a photo showing a pouch of mint and lilac bath soak powder. there is a pink circular sticker on the packaging stating that the product is cruelty free, and there are some shells scattered around

Another thing that I think is fantastic about The Bath Bae is that everytime I go onto the website for a browse, there always seems to be great deal available when purchasing multiple products. The current deal is also the one I was offered when I did my recent haul, which is a mix & match on any four products, where if you buy three items, you get a fourth one free!  The standard postage for the UK is £3.99 so I feel like it's better to purchase several things per order anyway, making this offer super handy :) 

Overall, I had a lot of fun using the Self-Care Sundae Bath Soak. It is a fabulous product and made bathtime a much more enjoyable experience, as due to my chronic pain, baths can be difficult and so using something that smells lovely and makes the water colourful can really help! I am very much looking forward to using the other bath soak that I treated myself to. I chose Beach Baecation, another of the summer themed releases, because the colours and arrangement of the product look so much like a sandy beach with the ocean rolling up on it, foaming waves and all. It is literally a work of art! 

I hope you all enjoyed my review of the Self-Care Sundae Bath Soak. Be sure to go check out The Bath Bae's products for yourself and head over to their instagram for news on upcoming releases and such. With the colder months fast approaching, when snuggling up in a blanket and having hot drinks and plenty of baths is essential, you'll want to be stocked up on bath supplies! On a final note, is anyone else craving a screwball now? 

Thank you for reading!

Do you prefer to add your bathbombs whole to your bath or crumble them up?

Also, what's your favourite bath product? I'd love some recommendations! 

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Thursday, 8 July 2021

Flowery Eeveelution Pin by Quirkory

Hey everyone! Long time, no see... can I even consider myself a blogger anymore!? Oops! Before I start today's post, which is all about a gorgeous gift that a super awesome friend of mine picked up for me, I just wanted to say a massive, mega, huge THANK YOU to each and every one of you who still read my blog, and follow along with my shambles of a life over on social media. You guys are the best!! You make me feel loved and interesting and I am eternally grateful for that  Anyhow, enough soppiness, you came here to read all about wonderful nerdy things and to get your daily dose of cuteness overload, so let's go! 

A photo showing a business card for Quirkory, featuring two mascots, a fox called Inari and a wolf called Mosted

If you're one of those fabulous regular readers of mine, you may remember my Christmas in July post from last year. Time seemed to both drag and speed by in 2020, during those months and months of pandemic life, and like so many others who struggle with mental illness, my brain was all over the place. My motivation and drive to do anything all but disappeared, and as a result, we got to celebrate a second Christmas here on Raiin Monkey, when I was finally able to put together a post for you guys all about my presents :D 

Well, time has repeated itself! It's been a challenge to get out of this new 'normal' state of mind and because of this, my blog has took a back-burner. I feel like I'm starting to ramble... but yeah, if you love Christmas Time then this is your jam (do people even say that anymore? haha!). We are revisiting the ''most wonderful time of the year'' once again, because I want to show you all the most adorable enamel pin that the amazing Natalee who blogs over at ThereMightBeCoffee bought for me! :) Thanks so very much for being such a star, Nat!! I have been so looking forward to showing off your present (even though it's taken me absolutely ages; better late than never, right?). So, fans of christmas and pins and cute fandom things, keep reading. You will not be disappointed! 

A photo showing a christmas gift from Quirkory, wrapped in red paper with a silver ribbon, a letter, stickers of eevee, a pokemon, and fox mascots

LOOK HOW CUTE!! Everything is so sweet! I was super delighted when I opened this package on Christmas Day after it had been sitting on my bookshelf for weeks; I was sooooo tempted to open it early, especially when Nat told me I could. But I did it! I held off until the big day, and was very happy I managed to do so! It was a wonderful surprise to discover that the item inside had been wrapped in pretty Christmas paper, finished with a sparkly silver ribbon :) A huge thanks to Quirkory for doing this! 

If you haven't heard of Quirkory before, it is an amazing independent artist business based in Italy and run by the cutest little mascots, Inari & Mosted (and their human creators, Claudia & Marco). They make all sorts of fandom-related and adorable animal artwork, in the form of enamel pins, stickers and much more! Some of their collections include Pokemon, Animal Crossing, kawaii Greek Gods and their recent kickstarter project is based on spirit animals. You can check those out here. I had been wanting to add something from Quirkory to my ever-growing pin collection for so long, so I was over the moon that Nat helped me to finally do that! And with such a beautiful pin, too!! I love it so so much!! 

This little personalised note card is so nice! I'm definitely going to be displaying it on my art wall. I'm a bunny mom and I literally squealed upon spotting those five chubby bun-buns... aren't they just so precious!?! I love how they are all unique and my favourite has to be the one on the left that's holding his paws up to his cheeks. That was literally me when I saw this note card :D Which is your favourite? 

Something else that I especially adored about this package from Quirkory was the letter from the artists. It was a lovely read and printed onto the cutest paper ever! I just thought it was such an awesome touch for them to add into their orders, and even though I received the item as a present, it's really nice to get something personal, a heartfelt message, when you support artists, as you can tell how much they appreciate it. 

Also, how cute is Quirkory's business card!? As a big fan of canidae species, I find Mosted & Inari so precious!! I think they represent a fox and a wolf, but I'm not 100%. I love the christmassy attire they are wearing on the card, too. A couple of stickers were also included in the package, and I'm unsure whether Nat opted for them or if Quirkory added them as freebies; either way, they were a delight to receive! Inari in Christmas outfits is the sweetest thing, and Eevee sleeping on a flower is like something out of a fairytale! What's not to love? There was a sticker version of the pin Nat chose for me as well, but I didn't want to spoil the surprise until you guys saw the star of the show

A photo of a pokemon eeveelution pin designed by Quirkory, vaporeon, a blue pokemon, is sitting on a orange yellow lotus flower

It's Vaporeon, my favourite Pokemon ever!! The sweetest little water baby! And oh my goodness, he's sitting on a flower, which is just perfect for a nature nerd like me. I'm in love with Quirkory's art style, the chibi characters and how colourful they are! AWWW, TOE BEANS!! Vaporeon's facial expression is the cutest. He's winking and looks like he's sticking his tiny tongue out.  I love his rosy cheeks and the rounded shape of the fins on his head, too. They just look fluffy? Squishy?? I don't know how to explain it, but it's super cute :) 

This pin is part of the 'Flowers Collection' - Eeveelutions sitting on flowers, all of which Quirkory have chosen for a specific reason. Each backing card comes with a description of the 'lore' behind why each flower was picked. Vaporeon has been partnered with the lotus flower and here's what my backing card says: 

'Everyone knows that Vaporeon is a water Pokemon, so it could only be matched with an aquatic flower! What is not well known, however, is that Vaporeon has the ability to walk on water... and Lotus are really good at it, as well! Thanks to their huge leaf and long roots, they can always stay afloat, even in the most difficult situations! Their ideal habitat are lakes, and certainly Vaporeon's Aurora Beam would have no effect on this flower, because it's also frost resistant'. 

an enamel pin of the pokemon vaporeon sitting on a yellow orange lotus flower and lily pad

How awesome! It's so interesting to learn about why this flower was chosen to accompany Vaporeon in the pins design. It's making me want to buy the other pins in this collection just to find out the reasons why each specific flower was chosen to represent them :) 

Another element I love about this pin is the leaf of the lotus flower, which is very visually similar to a lily pad. Lily pads make me think of frogs and I adore frogs, so whenever I look at the leaf part of this pin, I think of frogs and that makes me smile :D Furthermore, I love the colour contrast between the pale blue and teal shades used for Vaporeon, and the more bold colours picked for the plant part of the pin. It just makes vaporeon stand out even more. The warm orange and yellow pairs very well with the gold plating, don't you think? The petals are almost illuminated whenever the light catches the gold outlines, and it makes me picture the suns rays shining over the waters surface and making all the lotus flowers glow. 

A photo of a pokemon enamel pin by Quirkory. Vaporeon is sitting on a lotus flower, a sticker of this design can be seen as well as the back of the pin with blue rubber backs

I really like that the rubber backs for this pin badge are blue! As far as I remember, I was yet to own a pin with blue backs before receiving this one and in my opinion, it's cool to have backs that match the colour scheme of the character. I wonder if the other pins in this collection also have backs that are colour co-ordinated with each Pokemon, or whether Quirkory's pins always have a blue rubber back. Either way, it's a welcome change from all the pink or black backs that currently fill up my collection. It's also a nice touch to have the name of the Pokemon included on the back of the pin :) I'm assuming that Vaporus is the Italian name for Vaporeon? I've never seen a pin before that had the name of the design written on it, so much attention to detail! The whole pin is just perfect and I really love Quirkory's interpretation of my favourite Pokemon!! What do you guys think? 

a photo showing two adorable cartoon mascots for the brand Quirkory, a fox and wolf, both of which have cute thankful expressions

Overall, this package was filled with so much adorableness! It was such a pleasure to open, and there was so much included in there that it just felt like the gift that kept on giving. So many cute things to look at, and you can really tell how much love goes into the preparation of Quirkory's orders. It's a wonderful thing to see! Thank you so much Quirkory, and a huge thanks to Natalee for thinking of me and for choosing a gift that you knew I would adore so much :) I am very lucky to have a friend like you!

Be sure to check out Quirkory's Instagram & Etsy Store. They have so many products that I know you all will love! I have my eyes on several of their Animal Crossing Switch Controller pins right now :) The designs also come in sticker form. Sherb & Flick are on my wishlist! I also have a mighty need to get their witchy frog pin because I love all things that are a mixture of spooky and cute! Plus, FROGS!! (please make a Lily version of the switch controller pins!) You guys should totally treat yourselves, and even better... my friend Nat is a brand rep for Quirkory, so if you use her discount code, you can save 10% off your order!! Since we are revisiting Christmas today, might I suggest starting your festive shopping early and putting something adorable away for the nerdy loved ones in your life? :D Use the code TMBQUIRKORY at checkout. 

I hope you all enjoyed reading all about my 'new' Flowery Vaporeon enamel pin! I will try my very hardest to get back to blogging regularly, so be sure to check my social media for updates about upcoming posts. Instagram is where I'm most active so keep your eyes peeled over there. It's been so much fun to write again about the little nerdy snippets of my life that make me happy! Wishing you all a marvellous rest of the July filled with lovely summery days and ice-cream and happy mail and small steps towards post-covid normalcy. Remember to keep wearing those masks though, guys :) 

Thank you for reading! 

Which of the Eeveelutions is your favourite?

Are you a fellow pin collector? 
If so, I'd love to hear all about the latest pin you bought!

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Saturday, 20 March 2021

Animal Crossing: New Horizons | First Impressions

Hello everyone! Today is the one-year anniversary of the super cute Nintendo game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, so I thought what better day than today to finally share my long-awaited first impressions review of the game! It's taken me so long to write about the fifth edition to the the Animal Crossing franchise, because playing it has gradually taken over my life, haha!! I'm late to the game and I'm sure as heck making up for it. Go hard or go home? Although, play hard and stay home seems more appropriate nowadays :D Anyhow, if you follow me over on social media, you will likely have seen that for Christmas, my sister got herself a Nintendo Switch, plus surprised me with the AC:NH game! And I am OBSESSED. For fellow fans of this absolutely adorable game, or those of you who have witnessed the hype and been unsure whether or not to join in, here are my opinions. I hope you all enjoy reading!

So, I currently don't have a Switch of my own and thus I've been playing AC:NH via my sister's game (after we discovered you could only have a one island per console! Cheeky Nintendo... gone are the days of buying shared consoles for your kids, I guess?), but yeah, this means that I'm not the 'resident representative' on the island and therefore don't get the 'perks' that come along with that. I have had a go at playing as my sister's islander though, so I know what you can do. I am currently saving for my own Nintendo Switch, and then I'll finally be ready to experience the interactive elements of New Horizons, such as visiting with friends. But my review is of the game options themselves and it doesn't really matter that my islander has not done any travelling yet.

A colourful showing showing a coral nintendo switch console, an animal crossing new horizons game, and two amiibo cards, an orange one with a frog character, and a pink one with a goat character

I'm rambling, as per, so let's get into my thoughts and feelings, likes and dislikes. It's worth noting that I am basing my opinions in comparison to the 'old school' Animal Crossing: Wild World game, that was released back in 2005. My first handheld console was a Nintendo DS lite, a pink one to be specific, and AC:WW was one of my first games, as well as Nintendogs. (Oh my gosh, Nintendo! Please make this happen for the Switch!!). I never played the previous edition, New Leaf, so apologies if I think something about New Horizons is fantastic, only for it to have also been a thing back in 2012. So, now that my disclaimer(?) is out of the way, what were my initial thoughts about AC:NH? 

Upon creating my profile and islander, the first thoughts that popped into my head were 'wow! look how pretty this game is!! The graphics and general design is gorgeous and I want to live here!!'. I thought that the gameplay was so bright and shiny, and I was very impressed with my first experience playing on a Nintendo Switch. One of my favourite features of AC:NH as a whole is the nature. There is so so much attention to detail, and it has quickly become my happy place! Being a nature nerd but also living with several disabilities has had such an impact on me throughout the course of the pandemic, because a wedge has been driven between me and my in-real-life happy places. Even though, obviously a game is not a substitute for the actual world, it has been very nice to have the ability to see insects and flowers and trees each and every day in the palm of my hands, and in a way that is much more interactive than simply scrolling through photography on my phone. Damn though, every single natural element in AC:NH looks beautiful and I first started playing when everything was covered with snow... it really was a winter wonderland on our island :) 

A photo showing an Animal Crossing New Horizons themed Nintendo Switch case, as well as an art piece showing an Animal Crossing character portrait

I'm totally going to use the photograph above as an opportunity to give a shout-out to the amazing artist, Lizzy aka Aries Arts. Just look at the incredibly gorgeous Animal Crossing portrait that they made for me when I won a giveaway over on their instagram!! You can read more in a post I shared all about it here. Honestly, I cannot thank Lizzy enough for creating this piece for me and I feel like every Animal Crossing fan needs one in their lives! 

So back to my first opinions of AC:NH... I loved the variety of character design options we could have right away. This is probably something that was offered in the New Leaf game, but as I mentioned, I am comparing this to my experiences playing Wild World. I didn't realise the graphics were quite as different until I played New Horizons. It was great for the early 2000's but let's just say, I am so glad we have gotten this far with game development, haha! I also loved to discover that we still have many of the original villager cast of characters (and lots of newbies, for me anyway!). I missed these cuties so much!! Back when my sister & I played AC:WW, our favourite animal friend was always Chevre, the goat, and YAY!! She's still around :) My other personal favourites were Lily and Mint. I never see anyone online mentioning Mint T_T so I don't know if she's around nowadays. I am crossing my fingers that I can get hold of an Amiibo card for her... wish me luck! 

The most amazing thing happened when I obtained my first Nook Miles ticket and boarded a Dodo Airlines flight to explore a new island. Lily was there!! What are the chances of that!? I was over the moon to say the least that I could invite her to move onto our islander and there's she's been since January 2021. Who are your favourite villagers/islanders? 

a screenshot from Animal Crossing New Horizon of a character talking to frog called Lily. It is snowing and there are flowers and snow on the ground.

A screenshot of two Animal Crossing New Horizon characters, a human, a blue goat and a white goat, all wearing very cute dresses

Some other features that I was very happy to discover within my first week of gameplay were the fact that it's so easy to fish and the screenshot/photo-taking options! Back when I played on my Nintendo DS, I don't know why but I found it super difficult to fish and so I barely ever attempted to. It sucked because I was really curious about the species they'd included in the game, so I am delighted now that it is really simple to catch fish and I am very much loving how detailed the creatures are! I have set up a mini aquarium in my house because I just want to look at them all the time!! What are your favourite sea creatures on the game? I am yet to encounter sharks so I am super excited about that in the future :) I, of course, didn't have Harv's Island and his photo studio rooms at first, but I loved the filters you could use when taking screenshots and how you could zoom in, change the viewpoint, etc. Like, did you even play if you didn't take loads of cute pictures to share on social media?? :D Thank you Nintendo for giving me aesthetic choices! 

I have to admit that I was mortified when I initially got playing and couldn't locate Blathers and his museum anywhere, because that side of Animal Crossing has always been my firm favourite and I refused to believe that they were gone, but I wanted so desperately to start adding specimens to the museum collection. When Blathers finally showed up, I was so relieved!! And I am actually a fan of having to build up the museum from scratch. And guys, WHAT A MUSEUM IT IS!! I could not believe my eyes when I first got to explore the magnificent creation and I am slightly bitter that my islander can't set up home in it :D 

A screenshot from Animal Crossing New Horizons showing a happy character in front of a coral reef aquarium at the museum

A screenshot of gameplay in Animal Crossing New Horizons. A character with turquoise hair is smiling at a dinosaur fossil in the museum

I mean, how could I not fall in love with the AC:NH museum!?! The designers did a phenomenal job with it and every exhibit is so well thought out and intricate and it's been a joy to fill it with fossils and wildlife. The dinosaur bones are especially beautiful! Okay, I will be here all day talking about the museum, so onto my likes and dislikes after playing the game for around three months. 

Features I really like in AC: New Horizons

That Resetti is no longer a thing! As an adult, I know better than to turn my consoles off before saving, but omg that character was the most annoying thing ever back when I was thirteen/fourteen years old! I love that you cannot fall into fossil holes anymore, because that was bloody annoying, too!! I am a big fan of the reactions, mostly for the screenshot potential but also because they are so damn cute!! And I love that the islanders will respond to you :) Another feature that I think is great is how easily you can stock up on so many Nook Mile points. At the moment though, I have too many than to know what to do with! 

The festivals and special events, as well as the themed items, are such a wonderful edition to the gameplay. I am a sucker for celebrating things, especially those random commemoration days on the calendar, like National Popcorn Day. Who is in the same boat? So, you bet I am going to jump at every opportunity to celebrate special times on Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Furthermore, those Super Mario items added for the recent 25th Anniversary are so cute!! I can now run around the island, catching butterflies and collecting fossils, dressed as Princess Peach. What more could I want? And those little mushroom furniture items... I want one in my real bedroom! Speaking of furniture, the way you can decorate and customise your home and island is so much fun!! I can live out all of my aesthetic dreams in one place... kawaii in the home, grunge on the beach :D AC:NH has got me covered! I very much like being able to craft so many interesting items, from apple hats to giant mossy rocks. Tell me about your favourite item and/or item to craft in the comments :) I'm really curious!

A photo of a bedroom on the game Animal Crossing New Horizons. It is filled with kawaii furniture. There is a pink haired character clapping and smiling

Features I dislike in AC: New Horizons

I feel like dislike is too strong a word, to be honest :') I adore this game and there are only a few things that I wish could be different or hope that they update in the future or whatever. I wish that you could make a huge house, a mansion even, or anything that your imagination could think of. That you could design your home in a construction-like building feature. I have only been playing for three months and I have already expanded my house as big as it can go, as far as I know. I love having a living room plus five extra rooms but this game has so many cool furniture pieces that I have a mighty need for never-ending space to fill with it all. 

I also wish that tools did not break so easily. I understand that the game needs to have features that make players work for things and complete tasks to obtain the items they require, however I still feel that there should be another feature to counterbalance this. I would love an option to bulk carry tools in my inventory, such as you can do with fruit. That way, I could always be carrying a fair amount of tools in case the one I'm using should break, but still allowing me to carry all of the goodies that I find whilst exploring.  I hate being all the way on the other side of the island and having to run back home to get another tool, however this is just a little annoyance of mine and I'm likely complaining too much :D we all have our things...

BUT I assume that everyone finds the wasps and tarantulas to be a pain!! The wasps, I can deal with. I have gotten used to them, and can mostly catch them before they get a chance to sting my islander. The tarantulas, on the other hand, always pop out of nowhere and its a little frustrating to say the least. I have managed to catch several now and they are very awesome-looking. My islander even has a 'pet' one in her home, but still! I don't know if that makes up for it... what do you think? The only other minor irk that I have with AC:NH is that when you visit your animal friends at their house and they happen to be crafting something, it's more often than not, for me, is an item that I already know how to make. Of course, when I start using Nintendo Online and visiting my friends/they visit me, I can leave these recipe cards about for them to collect. Right now though, I just have a stockpile and it's a little annoying. I know that they need to slowly give players all of the recipes but I'm impatient by nature. Help :D

A photograph of a coral-coloured nintendo switch console and two amiibo cards of a goat character and a frog character

So, those were my thoughts and feelings and opinions about Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I hope I didn't bore you all and that if you were on the fence about investing in your copy of the game, that I have persuaded you because it really is a lovely thing to pass the time, especially during lockdown. I find it so relaxing, and I can play for hours without getting bored, but that's because I love games like Animal Crossing, where you can just totter around, pretending, that instead of living in this mess of a world, you live on an pretty island with the sweetest animal buddies, and spend your days and nights picking fruit, planting trees and flowers, buying cute outfits, growing things and just have the perfect cottagecore-esque time! So, if that sounds like paradise to you, you need to get this game in your life!! 

After discussing the game, I am now desperate to go back to playing it and so I will finish up my post here :) By the way, if you did not already know, today is the Spring Equinox, so the official first day of the new season has sprung, and I am so ready for it :) Wishing you all a lovely Springtime!! 

Thankyou for reading!

Do you have any recommendations for games similar to AC:NH? I'd love to check them out!

Also, tell me if you have any dislikes when it comes to this game. What changes would you make? 

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Tuesday, 2 February 2021

What I got for Christmas 2020

Happy February, lovelies! It's taken me a while to get this post written up, but today, I'm going to show you guys some of the wonderful gifts I got for Christmas! I love having a nosey at what presents people get for special occasions, especially Christmas and so I hope that you guys enjoy checking out the things I was very kindly given by my sister and friends. I think it's nice to bring a little Christmas magic into February, and it was lovely writing up the notes for this post as it reminded me of some of the positives of 2020. There were some good things that happened in that mess of a year, after all :') Anyhow, that's enough rambling... time to show you all what I got for Christmas! 

A photograph showing a selection of Christmas presents: funko pop figures, a TNBC themed colouring book, a Hogwarts castle candle jar

I've tried to organise this post into loose categories, but to be honest, I'm just going to talk about the presents I was given according to the way I decided to photograph them. My sister absolutely spoilt me and you'll see how in a moment, and then we also decided to get one another presents 'from my niece'. My amazing friends sent me the most lovely and thoughtful gifts! Christmas just made me feel super loved, so a big thank you to all of you!! 

A photograph of the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Nintendo Switch game and a matching phone case

My sister only went and bought me Animal Crossing: New Horizons!!?! I have really wanted this game ever since it was released in March 2020, and it was tough to watch the hype going on with what seemed like every single person on the internet playing it! My friends were always asking me for my code so we could play together :') The problem is that I don't own a Nintendo Switch. I just couldn't afford to buy one last year with all of the extra expenses that occurred from being cooped up at home with access to online shopping and with using the lockdown as an excuse to finally redecorate my bedroom (about time!). Consoles are expensive and I will need to save up!

Luckily, my sister bought herself a switch for Christmas, along with her own game... we didn't actually know that you could only create one island per switch (it's clearly a cheeky way for Nintendo to make households have to purchase multiple consoles); however, she's been super awesome and has been letting me play around on her island. I cannot wait until I get to create my own!! I am obsessed and have been playing the game daily since December! I might be late to all the fun, but I don't care about that :D

A photograph showing a pink hello kitty and friends backpack, along with an Animal Crossing: New Horizons game and phone case

When it came to wrapping my Animal Crossing game, my sister got creative! She wrapped the tiny game inside several boxes, so that I had to open a smaller box that was inside each and it was very reminiscent of a game of pass-the-parcel, haha! She certainly did a great job in keeping me guessing because I had absolutely no idea that I was just about find AC:NH in the middle of all those boxes!! To say I was over the moon would be an understatement. I seriously almost cried :D 

Around half way through the boxes, there was a little gift that my sister included to give me a clue, but I was so invested with opening all of the layers that it didn't even cross my mind what could be at the end of it all. And I never expected to be getting the game... I mean, I don't have a switch, and my sister had wrapped her new one and put it under the tree to not give away the surprise. The little gift was the most adorable Animal Crossing phone case. I think it's based on New Leaf, and it's wonderful! I still can't believe she did all that!! Eeeeee!

Another present that she got me was this super cute mini Hello Kitty backpack. I love how colourful it is and the texture of the fake leather material it's made out of feels really nice :) Hello Kitty will always have a special place in my heart because she was the first kawaii character that I became obsessed with back in my early teens (well, aside from all of the anime characters I loved growing up), and she helped to kickstart my love of Japan. Therefore, I can't not adore anything that is Hello Kitty related! Can you guys remember the first kawaii character you loved? 

A photograph of several funko pop vinyl figures: a rainbow hello kitty, a classic hello kitty with a red hair bow, Galadriel from LOTRs, a little boy and his cat sidekick, and Mulan as Ping

Oh look! More Hello Kitty. She really is the way to my heart when it comes to presents! Now I'm going to talk about all of the fabulous Funko Pop! Vinyl figures that I got for Christmas 2020. For those of you who are new to my blog, I am a collector of vinyl figures, starting with Tokidoki one's and eventually getting really into all the various products produced by Funko. My collection is currently 150 figures strong! (And that's not including all of my non-Pops, oops). 

Five of the figures above are from my sister; one of them is 'from my niece' as it was something she picked out for me when my sister and her were out shopping :) I mean, my sister helped her by taking her straight to the Funko section but she chose the figure of Scar from The Lion King (2019). It's from the 'live action' movie, which I have no plan of ever watching because The Lion King (1994) and The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride (1998) are my favourites, and I'm sure I won't enjoy a CGI adaptation of the classic. Have any of you guys ever seen it? If so, what did you think? Regardless, I think that it's super cool that my niece happened to opt for Scar, as he's my favourite Disney villain! I am very much into toy photography (you can check out my dedicated instagram here), so I always appreciate new figures for taking photos. 

I have a Pop in a Box subscription, where you are sent a random Pop each month from your wishlist. You can go through the 'catalogue' on the website and mark a thumbs up or a thumbs down on the figures, and also record any that you have in your collection. Using Pop in a Box makes it easier for my loved ones to buy me Funko that I don't have already and that they know I'm going to love. I just gave my sister my password so that she can log in and purchase items from my wishlist for my birthday or Christmas or whatever. So that's what she did this time around and from my thumbs up list chose the tempted version of the Lord of the Ring's Galadriel, Mulan as Ping, the classic Hello Kitty: flocked edition (that means it's furry), and Monster Hunter's Lute & Navirou. Oh my gosh, I loved them all so much!! 

A photograph showing a green stripy scarf, a Harry Potter candle jar, a llama notebook and a baubel with pink Pusheen the cat socks inside

The rainbow Hello Kitty was a marvellous surprise from my Amazon wishlist :) My friend and fellow blogger Kim bought her for me and it's such a gorgeous Pop!! Thank you very much!! Be sure to go and check out Kim's blog: Chimmyville. This Hello Kitty is a Pride edition Pop! and part of the proceeds from its sale are donated to the It Gets Better project. That's another reason why I am so delighted with it! 

Another of my fabulous friends, who is also a fellow blogger over at Estellosaurus, made me the most amazing scarf for Christmas! She actually handmade it!? And it's so soft and snug and beautifully put-together. It makes my heart so happy when I think about all of the work and thought that went into the creation of this scarf! Estelle used different shades of green because she knows it's my favourite colour. I adore it! It screams Slytherin vibes, too, which I'm all for because when I wear it, I'm repping my main man Severus Snape ;). Whenever I wear it, I don't want to take it off which is a big deal for me as I've never liked wearing scarves. They usually annoy me so quickly and make me feel stuffy, but not this one. Thanks so much, Estelle!!

The candle jar above was what my best friend got me for Christmas, and I cannot wait to display it on my Harry Potter shelves! I'm still in the process of decorating and constantly rearranging things in my bedroom, so, for now, I'm keeping it inside the box she packaged it in to prevent it getting smashed as it made of glass. On the jar is some gorgeous artwork of the Hogwarts Castle from Harry Potter, along with the Patronus' of several characters. There's a doe on there, which might represent Lily Potter, but I've decided it's for Snape, whether it is or is not! I love the monochrome colour scheme and the twine wrapped around the rim of the jar, along with the charm attached to it, is a very nice touch. It's gonna look even more pretty when there's a candle glowing in it. 

My friend Sophie sent me a box of goodies, that included gifts for my birthday and Christmas all together. I picked out two of my favourite things to show you guys, a pretty little notebook from Sass & Belle and a bauble filled with a pair of the cutest Pusheen Socks. I am a big fan of Pusheen and who doesn't love new socks? And I really like that the llama on the notebook actually looks like a llama, and not an alpaca. Even though alpacas are one of my favourite animals, it seems that companies don't know the difference, but the designers at Sass & Belle clearly do! I love it!

A photograph showing products from Kenji UK, a yellow fluffy duckling pencil case, a pastel rainbow cushion and two cute bathbombs

These presents are from another of my best friends, who got me a load of cute stuff from one of my favourite stores, Kenji! I am in love with all the these cute gifts :) I mean, look how flippin' adorable the duckling pencil case is!! It has such a unique design and I feel like I'm never gonna be able to bring myself to use it because it's super soft and I don't want it to get messy. The bright yellow is so eye-catching and pretty! I am looking forward to displaying the rainbow cushion on my bed once I get my new double... which should be very soon! Yay!! My favourite thing about this cushion is that the colours are pastel. The bathbombs from Bomb Cosmetics smell great, and it's a little tough to see but one of them has an orange squirrel on top, which is so sweet! I can never have too many bathbombs. I want to say a huge thank you to both of my besties, Jess & Aaron for their awesome gifts! Love you, guys!!

A photograph showing Harry Potter stickers, a Nightmare Before Christmas colouring book, a Pusheen the cat tote bag with pink and white stripes

The final bunch of Christmas presents that I'm going to talk about were all sent to me by my wonderful friends that I've met via the instagram toy photography community. They have all become great friends, who give me and my photography so much love and support. I cannot thank them enough for being so amazing!! Many of the friends I've met are German, and have been so kind when it comes to helping me to approve my knowledge of the language (if you didn't already know, I am trying to learn German. I have a long way to go yet!). They are so awesome!! For Christmas, many of my toy photography friends surprised me with gifts! We had agreed to exchange Christmas cards, but they sent me more :') I can't show off everything that I received, so I just picked out something to represent everyone. 

The Harry Potter sticker pack is from Dinchen, and I cannot wait to use them eventually, when I can convince myself to not keep them in the packet forever! Haha! They are too cute :) Dinchen also sent me some lovely mermaidy stationery and a tiny monkey plush, as well as a brilliant pop-up Christmas card! My friend Thorsten & his wife, Lena, sent me the incredibly adorable tiny snowman & pink Santa Claus erasers in the photo above! Accompanying the erasers was a box of wonderful presents, such as figures and chocolate and the cutest wrapping paper I've literally ever seen! Rebekka sent me the pretty calendar bookmarks along with chocolates, spiced tea drinks and some lovely bookmarks and postcards showing her books. She's an author, which is fantastic!! 

My friend Stina sent a box with presents for me, my sister and my niece, and I chose to include the Pusheen tote bag because of how much the design stands out! It's very cute and as I mentioned earlier, I love Pusheen!! How nice are the pink and white 'candy stripes'? I'm going to be taking this cutie shopping with me and showing it off :) Lastly, I received a huge box from Stefan & Romy, with so much inside that I could have written an entire post just about that! Romy picked out this epic The Nightmare Before Christmas colouring book and it's so detailed! I've never had a colouring book like it before, and it's another gift that I don't know if I ever want to use as it's too nice :D Just look at the artwork on the cover! It's even more intricate and fancy inside!! The tiny pink Pusheen figure was also from Romy and Stefan, and it went onto my cute Japanese shelf right away. It's so precious. 

A photograph of an Animal Crossing phone case featuring lots of cute animal characters

I also received a beautiful enamel pin from Natalee who blogs over at There Might Be Coffee, but I am planning to do a separate post dedicated to that because it's from an awesome independent business called Quirkory, who's pins I have been lusting after for ages and I want to give them a proper shout out :)  


So, there's my favourite things that I got for Christmas 2020! I feel so blessed to have such phenomenal people in my life. 2020 was a mess and the only thing that kept me going was all of my loved ones, all of my wonderful friends, who make me feel special :') I hope that they all enjoyed my presents and cards just as much! And that this post was an interesting read for you all. I just want to give a little disclaimer that I'm showing my presents in this post because I want to share my joy with you all, and I in no way mean for it to come across as bragging, etc. As I said, I enjoy reading these kinds of posts and I know that lots of others do, too. I'd love to hear about what you got for Christmas, so please leave me a comment telling me all about your favourite gift that you gave or received. 

Thankyou for reading!

Are you a fan of Christmas Time?

What's your favourite thing about it? 

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